With Bafana Bafana disappointing yet again, there seems to be one man who has all the knowledge, experience and mentality to change things in the national team. But, unfortunately, Pitso Mosimane has already experienced the Bafana set-up and quite frankly might not want to go back.
Molefi Ntseki’s charges failed to secure qualification for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon after their 2-0 loss against Sudan this past Sunday.
This is now the fourth time in 11 years that Bafana will miss the biennial continental showpiece after previously failing to qualify in 2010, 2012 and 2017, while they haven’t attended a Fifa World Cup since the 2010 tournament, where South Africa qualified as host.
A drastic drop-off for a country that was long considered as one of the best footballing countries on the continent following the triumph in 1996. More than 25 years since and the team has regressed dramatically.
The pressure is now on coach Molefi Ntseki who was mandated to take the team to Cameroon and was expected to have no issues with the tournament now having 24 teams participating. However, even with the expanded tournament, which was supposed to give smaller nations a shot at qualifying, Bafana failed to qualify and we’re back to square one with no plan forward.
There is one man who could undoubtedly change things around and that is Pitso Mosimane. Granted he is highly unlikely to turn his back on the millions available in North Africa and Europe to join an association riddled with corruption and financial issues like the South African Football Association (Safa).
Let’s not forget that Mosimane has been in the Bafana hot seat before and knows the difficulties that comes with the role.
The now Al Ahly coach was appointed as Bafana head coach replacing Carlos Alberto Parreira after the 2010 World Cup.
Mosimane was told that he was brought in with a future vision in mind, but after 16 games in charge he was gone following the failure to take the country to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations – telling the team to sit back and settle for a draw with Sierra Leone, which turned out to be a fatal mistake as the rules were either not checked or misinterpreted.
Since that embarrassing departure, Mosimane has gone on to conquer everything in front of him. First, he helped revitalise Sundowns before turning them into perinneal South African champions and African champions in 2016.
His dominance with Downs landed him the Al Ahly job, where he has already picked up silverware, including the 2020 Caf Champions League, and looks to have the footballing world at his feet.
Talks of a move to Europe also look to be set for the future. So, would Pitso really want to turn his back on all of these opportunities because of patriotism? I think not.
He undoubtedly has all the tools and experience to thrive in the job, despite being handicapped by Safa as all those who have gone before him, but unfortunately for the national team they have missed their chance of having Mosimane issue in a new generation and the opportunity may never come again.
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